Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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What’s on Tap: Previewing Friday’s action

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Welcome to the weekend, y’all. A full slate of games tonight including a couple of dudes making debuts for new clubs: Nick Tepesch for the Dodgers and Wade LeBlanc for the Mariners. Tommy Milone has been recalled by the Twins and will make his first big league appearance since May 3. Cody Reed of the Reds, in contrast, is a seasoned pro, making his second big league start.

On the older end of the spectrum is Max Scherzer, going in Milwaukee. The last time he pitched there he struck out 16 dues and retired the first 18 batters he faced. He’s facing a young man in Zach Davies, however, who has done some very special things himself in his short time in the bigs, particularly lately. Meanwhile, Jered Weaver is coming off of his best start of the season: a three-hit shutout in Oakland in which he needed only 95 pitches. He only struck out one dude in that game and his fastball can barely break glass, so he must’ve O.D.’d on the gumption and savvy pills. Why those are legal while PEDs are not I have no idea, but I suppose he’d be grandfathered in if they banned them anyway.

Enjoy your Friday night.

Los Angeles Dodgers (Nick Tepesch) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon), 7:05 PM EDT, PNC Park

Minnesota Twins (Tommy Milone) @ New York Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka), 7:05 PM EDT, Yankee Stadium

Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Moore) @ Baltimore Orioles (Yovani Gallardo), 7:05 PM EDT, Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Chicago Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) @ Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler), 7:10 PM EDT, Marlins Park

Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar) @ Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann), 7:10 PM EDT, Comerica Park

San Diego Padres (Colin Rea) @ Cincinnati Reds (Cody Reed), 7:10 PM EDT, Great American Ball Park

New York Mets (Steven Matz) @ Atlanta Braves (Aaron Blair), 7:35 PM EDT, Turner Field

Boston Red Sox (David Price) @ Texas Rangers (Nick Martinez), 8:05 PM EDT, Globe Life Park in Arlington

Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez) @ Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon), 8:10 PM EDT, U.S. Cellular Field

Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Zach Davies), 8:10 PM EDT, Miller Park

Houston Astros (Dallas Keuchel) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 8:15 PM EDT, Kauffman Stadium

Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley) @ Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson), 8:40 PM EDT, Coors Field

Oakland Athletics (Eric Surkamp) @ Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver), 10:05 PM EDT, Angel Stadium of Anaheim

St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @ Seattle Mariners (Wade LeBlanc), 10:10 PM EDT, Safeco Field

Philadelphia Phillies (Zach Eflin) @ San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy), 10:15 PM EDT, AT&T Park

“Nightmare” plan to run traffic to the Braves new stadium via neighborhood streets

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The Braves stadium situation continues to be an absolute peach.

The club’s new ballpark, which was planned via a secret deal between Cobb County officials and the Braves, has been controversial for a host of reasons, including the use of public money and the lack of transparency involved in the process. On a more practical level there have been major concerns about traffic and parking. There is no mass transit serving the new park and the planned parking lots are in bad places — across a freeway in one instance, with no set plan yet to create a pedestrian bridge — and are too few in number. And that’s before you deal with the already awful congestion in the area where I-285 and I-75 meet, which is where the park is located.

Now comes some more traffic rancor, this in the form of a plan by Cobb County to divert traffic off of the freeway and over surface streets through the town of Sandy Springs on game days. Guess what? The mayor and council of Sandy Springs claim they had no idea about this until the other day. And whether this did truly blindside them or they’re just pretending it did to save their political skins, they’re not happy. They call it a “nightmare” and were visibly and audibly angry at the poor Cobb County transportation director who came to tell them what the plan was:

“You want to take all the traffic off 285 and put it on surface streets?” asked an incredulous Councilmember Tibby DeJulio.

“That’s what we want to do all over the system,” Wilgus replied.

Wilgus fenced with the mayor and councilmembers over definitions of street types and hypothetical traffic impacts.

“You can’t run these [sign-directed drivers] through neighborhood streets,” Paul said.

“We’re not running them through neighborhood streets…Interstate North is not really a neighborhood street,” Wilgus said.

“I live there, so you don’t tell me that it’s not a neighborhood street,” the mayor said. “We live here. We know those streets.”

I’ll grant Cobb County this much: there has never been a local government or group of local citizens who has ever NOT complained about traffic and parking in connection with a new development. You could put up a building that provides free cookies, free massages and 100% scientifically-verified cancer cures and some local paper would run a story about how “locals expressed concerns over parking, congestion.”

Still, neither Cobb County nor the Braves have done anything to earn the benefit of the doubt with respect to this whole stadium deal, so it’s probably not a great idea to cut them any slack on this score until they prove that their plan is actually workable.

Twins trade Oswaldo Arcia to the Rays

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The Tampa Bay Rays acquired outfielder Oswaldo Arcia from the Twins in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Arcia, 25, has shown some promise at times but he’s never been able to put it together at the big league level, hitting only .240/.303/.429 over 967 plate appearances. The Rays could use him due to their multiple outfielder injuries. The Twins are just tired of him, it would seem. And, of course, they have better outfield options in the form of current prospects than Arcia, whose prospect status is in the past.